LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium will host yet another pivotal match when No. 11 Louisville and Clemson meet in a showdown of ACC Atlantic Division leaders on Friday at 7:30 p.m., ET. The contest will be televised live on ESPN3, while live scoring will be provided through the Gametracker link on the men’s soccer schedule page at GoCards.com. Friday’smatch will be Louisville’s third this season on ESPN3, including the second at home.
SENIOR NIGHT CEREMONY PRIOR TO KICKOFF
Prior to Friday night’s ACC matchup, the Louisville men’s soccer program will honor its five senior players during the annual Senior Night ceremony. The Cardinals will say thank you to Joachim Ball, Daniel Keller, Nolan Moore, Santiago Vélez and Will Vitalis with the ceremony slated to begin at 7:20 p.m.
KICK FOR NICK / MILITARY APPRECIATION NIGHT AT LYNN STADIUM
The Cardinals will host their annual Kick for Nick night and honor our armed forces during Friday’s match. All fans who donate a new or gently used soccer ball will receive free admission. All military members (former and current) can receive discounted admission to Friday’s game by calling (502) 852-0120.
The Cardinals enter Friday’s contest riding a three-match winning streak with each of those victories coming at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium. This is the fourth of five straight at home for Louisville, which is 3-0-0 in conference home matches in 2014. Overall, the Cardinals are 6-2-1 at Lynn Stadium this season and 67-17-15 at home in nine seasons under the direction of head coach Ken Lolla.
The Tigers enter the Friday night matchup riding a three-match winning streak, including back-to-back home victories over nationally ranked foes with a 2-1 win over No. 6 Viriginia and a 2-1 win over No. 21 Coastal Carolina. Last season, Clemson was 11-7-3 overall and was fourth in the ACC with a 5-4-2 league record. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Championship for the 27th time in school history falling in penalty kicks at Elon in a first round match.
Friday’s match will be the first between the Cardinals and Tigers on the soccer pitch.
LOUISVILLE TIED FOR FIRST IN ACC ATLANTIC
With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, Louisville (4-2-0) is tied atop the Atlantic Division with Clemson (4-2-0) and Syracuse (4-2-0) with 12 points each. Wake Forest (3-3-0) is fourth with nine points, while NC State (1-3-2/5 pts) and Boston College (1-4-1/4 pts) close out the Atlantic. Notre Dame (4-1-1) leads the way in the Coastal with 13 points, while North Carolina (4-2-0) is second with 12 points. Virginia (3-2-1) is next with 10 points and is followed by Virginia Tech (2-3-2/7 pts), Duke (2-4-0/6 pts) and Pittsburgh (0-4-2/2 pts).
CARDINALS LEAD NATION IN ATTENDANCE IN FIRST SEASON AT LYNN STADIUM
After entering the season with great excitement in anticipation of the move to the ACC and the opening of the nation’s most spectacular collegiate soccer facility, Louisville men’s soccer fans have responded by packing Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium for the Cardinals in 2014. Louisville leads the nation in attendance averaging 3,895 fans through eight home matches this season highlighted by the 7,047 fans at Lynn Stadium for the Cardinals’ opening-night victory over No. 2 Maryland. UConn is second in the nation in attendance at 3,314 per match followed by Maryland (3,223), UC Santa Barbara (3,015) and South Carolina (2,751).
KUBEL EARNS PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Freshman defender Tim Kubel earned a pair of honors on Oct. 21 when he was named ACC Player of the Week as well as the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Player of the Week. Kubel scored two goals and added an assist as UofL won both of its matches that week, including a 2-1 overtime win over No. 2 Syracuse.
CARDINALS RETURN TO NATIONAL RANKINGS
After rising as highly as No. 2 in the nation early in the season, Louisville fell out of the national rankings on Oct. 14 following a four-match losing skid. The time out of the top 25 was short-lived as the Cardinals returned to the Soccer America poll on Oct. 21 at No. 11. The Cardinals opened the season with a 1-0 win over then-No. 2 Maryland and then made a big move in the rankings replacing the Terrapins as the No. 2 ranked team in the NSCAA Top 25 on Sept. 2. The No. 2 national ranking was the highest for Louisville since opening the 2011 season ranked No. 1. The Cardinals were also ranked No. 1 in the nation in 2010 before closing the season as NCAA runner-up after reaching the College Cup title game.
STRONG PROVIDING OFFENSIVE PUNCH IN FIRST SEASON
In his first season in the Louisville uniform, junior Ben Strong has given the Cardinals an offensive boost with 13 points, which ranks second on the team in 2014. A transfer from Virginia Tech, Strong has five goals and three assists, highlighted by his two-goal performance against Duke on Sept. 13. Strong has started in 13 of Louisville’s 14 matches this season with all of those coming in the attacking midfield.
VELAZCO SCORES FOUR GOALS IN THREE-MATCH STRETCH
After not scoring a goal in each of the Cardinals’ first four matches of 2014, junior Ricardo Velazco found his form recently connecting for four goals in three-match stretch from Sept. 19-26, including two goals in the win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 26. Last season, Velazco, led the Cardinals with seven goals and nine assists while starting all 20 matches.
BALL MOVES INTO THIRD IN CAREER SHUTOUTS AT LOUISVILLE
With his four shutouts this season, senior goalkeeper Joachim Ball has moved into sole possession of third place in career shutouts at Louisville with 13. Last season, Ball finished with eight shutouts, ranked 15th nationally in goals against average at 0.688 and was a key player as Louisville set school records for consecutive minutes played without allowing a goal (560) and consecutive shutouts with five from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6. Andre Boudreaux leads the way with 37 career shutouts at Louisville from 2008-11, while Jeremy Morales is second with 23 from 1998-2001.
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